Giants observations: Tough loss to Cubs prevents series sweep

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What we learned as Giants fail to complete sweep of Cubs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Giants were unable to get greedy Sunday. 

With a chance to sweep a four-game series against a good Chicago Cubs team, the Giants gave up the lead in the middle innings and couldn't recover against a very strong bullpen. They lost 4-3 at Oracle Park, but it was still a successful weekend. They ended up taking three of four from the Cubs, who were red-hot coming in. 

The Cubs swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game series in early May, and earlier this week they took three straight from theSan Diego Padres. They had won nine of their last 10 when they arrived in San Francisco, but lost the first three games. 

In the finale, the Cubs scored the go-ahead run when Mauricio Dubon came home with one out and the bases loaded in the fifth inning. The throw was low, but Buster Posey had a good shot at the force and couldn't hold on. That was it for the scoring, as the Cubs held on from there, surviving a scare when Alex Dickerson's high fly ball to right died on the track.

Here are three more things to know.

Mid-game Savior

Conner Menez entered with the bases loaded in the fifth and just one out, but he struck out Jason Heyward and Patrick Wisdom, the latter of whom had already homered twice. That kept the Giants in the game, and Menez kept going from there. He retired four more before handing the ball to Dominic Leone. 

Menez has recorded six outs in all three of his appearances since being called up, allowing one hit while striking out seven. He has been on the outside looking in for a while now, but he made some tweaks in the offseason and certainly looks like he's capable of locking down a more consistent role.

The Giants don't have a fifth starter right now and also haven't had a true long man all season -- Menez should be in the mix for a lot of innings in the coming weeks. 

Wade's World

Hendricks entered the day with very good numbers against the Giants, but he had never seen some of their newcomers. LaMonte Wade Jr. welcomed him with a solo shot to left on the first pitch he saw while leading off the bottom of the first.

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It was the first leadoff homer of the year for the Giants and the third in six games for Wade, who has filled in very capably at first base with Brandon Belt out. 

Wade had two homers in 95 at-bats for the Twins over two seasons, but the Giants were hopeful they could coax more power out of his swing. Belt is due back on the road trip, but Wade certainly has made the case for a lot of playing time in the outfield, possibly by taking time from Mike Tauchman in right field. 

Hottest Hitter Alive

Wisdom entered the day with 12 hits -- including five homers -- in 30 at-bats this season and kept the demolition tour going against Johnny Cueto, who was knocked out after 4 1/3 innings. He got a grooved 2-2 fastball in his first at-bat and hit a solo shot to dead center. The next time up, Cueto made a mistake with his slider with two outs and a base open, and Wisdom again hit a blast to center.

At that point, he had seven homers in 32 at-bats. 

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Wisdom actually has local ties. He went to St. Mary's in Moraga and broke into the big leagues in 2018 with the St. Louis Cardinals, showing some power. He had a rough run with the Texas Rangers in 2019 and was hitless in two at-bats last season with the Cubs, but this season he has given them a huge boost. 

Menez and Jarlin Garcia fed him a steady diet of breaking balls later in the game and Wisdom struck out swinging twice, but it was still a huge day for a player who hit three homers in the series. 

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